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Poster: reviewr Date: Apr 21, 2011 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Dylan lyric

There is a Bob Dylan lyric from the song "I Shall Be Released" that has haunted me for years: "I see my light come shining From the west unto the east".
Any ideas about what this means?

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Poster: splue Date: Apr 21, 2011 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylanilp

archiveilp


kwaliteeilp

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffNoiseCollector Date: Apr 22, 2011 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylanilp

liplip

pwnlop

ownagecarpoollip

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Poster: reviewr Date: Apr 22, 2011 8:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylanilp

WTFlip

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Poster: ned the head Date: Apr 21, 2011 6:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

Imagine you are sitting in a jail cell with one small window.
The window is placed eight to ten feet high in the wall to keep the inmates from messing with it and in our ideal hypothetical incarceration it faces South. Now when the sun rises in the East all we see of it is the square patch of sunlight on the West side of our cell. As the day progress and the sun moves through its course in the sky that patch of sunlight on the wall moves from the West to the East.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Apr 21, 2011 7:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

nicely said ... it could also be that he feels near the end of his life, "his" light, in sunset, is shining from the West down to the East ... but I like your practical explanation very much.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Apr 21, 2011 10:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

the 'release' "is not from mere prison bars but rather from the cage of physical existence"
Clinton Heylin writes in his book "Revolution In The Air" -wikipedia

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Poster: SpacedAgain Date: Apr 22, 2011 12:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

In Islamic lore, a sunrise in the west is a major sign of the Day of Judgement. Very retro: Jimi says don't be late, don't be late.

Another tidbit from my favorite NRPS song I DON’T KNOW YOU:

"SUN COULD RISE UP IN THE WEST AND I WOULD BE NO WISER"

Jerry's on pedal steel, which is always nice, and NRPS has a free download at their website:
http://www.nrpsmusic.com/music/index.html


This post was modified by SpacedAgain on 2011-04-22 07:09:13

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Apr 21, 2011 5:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

The song is something of a parable. It was written in the basement tapes period, and it really points to the somber, psuedo-prophetic tone of Dylan's work on John Wesley Harding. Look at that line in context:

(i'm working with what I'll call the "final" lyrical working, on greatest hits 2)

First, we have the question of man's fallen nature:

"every man must need protection"

but our singer sees his "reflection somewhere so high above the wall," or some perfected vision of himself (platonic form, the reflected image, allegory of the cave etc.) at some impossible distance. (i keep using "some" because none of my associations are final.)

that reflected image also relates to the line of your inquiry... "my light come shining from the west to the east" seems to me like an inverted, personal sun. It brings salvation... but not yet. It reverses the normal course of the sun (east to west) because it is "otherworldly" rather than naturalistic. Finally, that light carries with it the promise that "any day now, I shall be released."

The other verse brings its own dimensions to the chorus line. The man who swears he's not to blame might just be another reflection of the speaker... or simply another person experiencing a similar rejection of the world. Thus we have a parable of social dissonance: our singer and his comrade are out of place in this world of limitation and sin, but look to a new day where the sun moves backwards and they are... released.

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Poster: Hal R Date: Apr 21, 2011 5:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan lyric

Go west young man, the sunset, does it need to mean anything? It's poetry and poetry often doesn't make sense, doesn't need to, doesn't want to, it is what you the reader may make out of it. But I may be completely wrong, maybe he was saying that out of the west was California and some of the beat poets and psychedelic bands like the Dead and Buddhism coming to the west and all sorts of stuff was in the west and it was cosmic and world changing and I may be full of it and maybe Dylan is too.